Taxi driver diaries and my morning drama
Sometimes, just sometimes you need to move out of your comfort zone to better appreciate some basic stuff in life we normally take for granted. On the morning of 30th October 2017, I took a day off from work because I knew I would be tired after Sunday’s 10km marathon but it seems my leave was already planned and taken because a little something wanted to show me pepper.
I quickly parked the car at the Shell at Abofo precisely in front of the Stanbic bank ignoring hand gestures from the security man who was doing his job to direct me to park well thinking I was heading over to the banking hall. I was just in a hurry to get out of the car, I grabbed my 7 months old with just a sock after her had taken the other one-off in the car and also took my almost 3-year-old out from the back seat. It was a sight to behold…..a mother with her baby and toddler with the car door wide open and the engine still running.
I called the security and he came concerned asking what the matter was. “Yes what is the matter?” (me asking myself this question). I was shy but in situations like this I didn’t really care. My husband is my witness. The security man came, took a look and went in to the banking hall with a promise to return but, ‘man! did he delay!” and I didn’t have time so I called another. They came and it went. More like hide and seek and catch me if you can. The impudence! They (second security man and another gentleman) said it won’t do me anything so I should be comfortable enough to drive the car.
“No way! That is not even an option. Clear it before i go.” As the kids were also getting late for daycare I decided to get a taxi and come back to the issue at hand. The taxi driver came and my madam sat on the floor throwing tantrums called, “How dare mother park the car whilst am enjoying my kids songs and let me out unto the hot sun?” I was unperturbed as I had “BIGGER” issues at hand. I informed the driver that I had stuff and he was expecting my stuff to be in front of a shop because why would someone have a car which is at close range and still take a taxi? I opened the boot of the car and the first question that pops out of his mouth is, “what is wrong with your car?” I explained and he laughed. You this man this is a serious matter wai. By this time my Kojo Ghana (nicky for my 7 months baby since he was born on a Monday on Ghana’s independence day) was in sweat. Mummy is really sorry wai but this one dieee no option. Forget about the strength of a woman and strength for the sake of the kids. This is major!
You must be thinking by this time, “what did this woman see in the car koraa?” I have to move on to the next segment of my day which links beautifully to my posts on my encounters with taxi drivers. So let’s cut to the chase. It was a spider!!!! Yes big old woman like myself. As I was typing this post the car is being thoroughly washed after I bought insecticides to spray the car before driving off and also since I have trust issues when there is no dead body as evidence, I have to be triple sure I don’t lay eyes on him or her as I drive off. Please remember me in your prayers :0. I had made a spectacle of myself that morning but hey sometimes in life you have to embrace the shame, sit back and later laugh at yourself. Life is even too stressful these days. So there you go, you can laugh at me or sympathise with me.
Episode 4: Taxi driver diaries
Check out Diary of a Ghanaian taxi driver 3 for previous post in relation to my taxi driver diaries.
We were in the cab and he was laughing at me. He asked, if I was alone what would I have done? I replied that I would spray the insecticide like crazy. I always have these handy anyways considering getting one for the car just in case.
Not all house helps are bad…..
He concluded that everyone has a fear in life anyways so it wasn’t much of a big deal. We later dropped the kids off and the first question he asked when I returned was “eeeiiii madam so this baby also goes to school? Why don’t you get a house help? I told him it was a personal preference and that I wasn’t ready for the drama with house helps. Of course we have different opinions and disagreed. His conclusion is that there some good ones so i shouldn’t give up totally. He mentioned that not all are bad and that I can look for those between 11 and 13 that I can train. He indicated that some of them are not treated well and that’s how come they turn out to have bad names.
Marriage has reduced my unnecessary spending…….
I asked if he was married and he responded in the affirmative. He mentioned that he married at the beginning of the year. And the reason he married was to make him more responsible in terms of spending especially with friends and on ladies. We had a whole discussion on readiness for marriage. I told him if that was the reason he got married then it’s not the best because one should be ready for marriage and not use marriage as a tool to stop certain behaviours. He also made valid points. What’s your opinion though?
Uber has affected the taxi driving business……..
Me: Do you own this car?
Him: Yes. I did work and pay.
Me: So is it lucrative?
Him: It’s better to have your own taxi instead of work and pay. With work and pay, a target is set for you and if you don’t meet it you have to add up. Plus you are responsible for repair works etc.
Me: So averagely how much can you make per week? Is it up to GHS1,000?
Him: Oh no. After deducting fuel, repair works etc you are left with about GHS400 for the week.
(Notice he is referring to his net income and not just sales meaning he has factored his business expenses)
Me: So how does Uber affect you?
Him: Now almost everyone prefers Uber because of the convenience although it is sometimes more costly than taxis. Plus passengers are assured they can retrieve items left behind in the car as drivers are easily traceable. I am even planning on selling my car then save to top up for a kia picanto to start using my car for uber.
(A smart driver who hasn’t joined an association to fight against uber but rather adapting his business model)
He charged me GHS30 and I laughed that a small spider has made me incur an unplanned expenditure. He laughed and said God had a reason for this and I agree.
Thanks driver Kojo! I really enjoyed our conversation.
Cheers on a light-hearted note, OMT Don't forget to share and you can email your uber, troski and taxi experiences to firstname.lastname@example.org